Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On... #42: Rebel Rebel

Do you know what really annoys the living crap out of me? What really burns my ass, other than sitting in an open campfire? When a millionaire celebrity is described as... damn it, I can't bring myself to say it -- I'll just have to spit it out.... a REBEL.

What in the name of James Dean's brake pedal is that
piece of semantic effluvia all about?

Being a rebel is about being different, original, separating yourself from the ignor
ant mass and taking a stand for something that means something.

Hollywood's rebels mean nothing, stand for nothing, and are so unoriginal that they are pretty much identical to each other.

Now rebellion in Hollywood has always had more to do with marketing than Marx, from the "daring" femme fatales of the Silent Era, to the hard drinking "tough guys" of the 30s & 40s, James Dean and his ilk in the 50s, and the over stylized hippy-hipsters of the 60s and 70s. Hollywood has always sought to appeal to the ever present element of rebellion in young people while keeping it relatively safe for family consumption.

Now, thanks to the constant posturing and preaching of the Baby Boomer generation, rebellion has become the new conformity.

Everyone in Hollywood wants to be seen as a rebel, but in a free society like America, there's really nothing to rebel against. No one is passing laws censoring their art, and anyone who tries gets publicly pilloried as a crackpot. (And don't talk about Giuliani and the anti-religious statue made of elephant dung, he wasn't censoring it, he just didn't think the city had to pay for it, that's a totally different matter)

So what do Hollywood's young millionaire rebels have to rebel against?

Apparently hygiene, good taste, etiquette, and common sense.

Look at Hollywood's current crop of rebels, all wearing the same purposely shabby designer clothes purchased from the same bo
utiques in Malibu, the same dark glasses that cost more than the average mortgage payment, scruffy unwashed hair, carefully made that way by a professional stylist, under a cap or toque, bought from the same boutique and no doubt hand-woven from the pubic hairs of Andean llamas by real Algonquin shamans, unshaven face, and as always tattoos galore.

What does that show other than contempt?

Tattoos are probably the most conformist aspect of "rebel" Hollywood the
se days. They all have them, claiming that they're some token of their individuality, but doesn't having something that over 1/3 of people under 40 have just make you conformist.

And what's with the stupid wool hats?

You see them wearing them in summertime in Southern California!

I can't imagine a more impractical thing to wear.

They're designed to keep the head warm. When it is warm, you should wear something that keeps your head cool. If you're skiing on Whistler Mountain in January, fine, but you're in Los Angeles when it's August, and homeless people are using the hoods of sports cars to fry their breakfasts.

I guess heat stroke is the new tattoo or something.

They these so-called rebels declare that: they're not going to play Hollywood's game, & that they think for themselves. They then all get into their over-priced cars to go to the same over-priced nightclubs where they get photographed for the paparazzi, get wasted on the same booze and drugs, and then wake up in bed with each other.

They then call anyone who says their behaviour was unprofessional or unproductive variations on the theme of "uptight." And when the tabloid media print pictures of their obnoxious behaviour, they complain about the paparazzi haunting them, and they go to all the same places, all over again.

That's been the Hollywood game since the 1960s.

The fact that they don't see says a lot about their ability to understand basic facts as they are presented to them.

And don't get me started on politics and Hollywood.

There is no independent thought about issues or candidates, just a herd galloping around following the scent of fashion and political correctness on the usually leftward blowing wind. (Which usually leaves them going around in circles)

And lord help us if one of those "young rebels" dies young. Suddenly they are transformed from a successful person with a bright future, to a tragic hero or demi-god, praised to the high heavens for their untold, and more often than not, unseen talent. For some actors it could be the best thing to happen to their careers.

I guess the closest thing to a real rebel these days is an actor who does their job in a professional manner, lives a life away from the hunting grounds of the paparazzi, and takes stands based on their actual beliefs, not what will get them invited to the swankiest parties.

But those rebels don't get into the tabloids, because normalcy doesn't sell when there's a never-ending freak show on the market.

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